Crops could be worse
|By Mark Newman, Ottumwa Courier, Iowa|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Recent agricultural reports warned that due to cold ground, corn planted in
"On the corn that was planted in April, the cold delayed it," said
Carlton estimates locally, from around
Part of the concern is about yield. Corn planted later may not give farmers as much product. But there are insurance deadlines to consider, too.
Regions up north have until Monday until their insurance coverage starts getting reduced -- unless they've planted all their corn. Corn growers in
That's not to say it's been easy for farmers around
"We had a week with no rainfall and periods where it was too wet to plant, which kept us out of the fields in April," Carlton said.
He explained that while the mud looked worse last year, there's a certain point where farmers just can't go out in the field. The mud reached that point this year, even though it wasn't as deep as last year.
"One of the big differences was that last year, the subsoils were saturated with water. This year, the subsoil is a little drier, so when it rains, two or three days later, and we're back in the field. Last year, it'd be a week."
Of course, whether rain is good or bad depends on the farmer, he said. One may be hoping rain stays away, while another might wish for rain to help clear the "crust" blocking the growth of their soybeans.
One factor that will be avoided: Last year, corn planted
Overall, Carlton said, he is optimistic, and impressed at the farmers getting fields planted under less-than-ideal circumstances.
"This weekend, as long as we don't get 3 or 4 inches of rain, we'll be done planting by crop insurance dates for ... corn and beans. Overall, we're ahead of last year."
-- To follow
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